Craftsman brings new look to Woodlake
SAN ANTONIO – Since Dale Culbertson, president of EIB Contractors, has been doing James Avery Craftsman Inc. jewelry stores for more than 20 years, building the James Avery at Woodlake Crossing, 6914 Highway 78, was like second nature to him.
Culbertson has built more than 100 new James Avery stores across the country and has done countless repairs and upgrades for the jeweler, and so he knows these stores inside and out.
A few years ago, James Avery completely redesigned their stores, but Culbertson has already done several in the new style, including stores in Houston, Dallas, Austin and the first one in the new design in San Antonio, built at South Park Mall in 2014. The Woodlake location is the second in San Antonio to be built in this new style, which Culbertson describes as brighter with a high-end finish out.
As project manager for the job, Culbertson estimates it takes about three months for them to do a James Avery store. Always located in shopping malls or centers, James Avery turns a lease space over to EIB for demo of the former occupant’s store and build of the new James Avery.
The Woodlake location is 3,224sf, and EIB built the sales area, a break room, two restrooms, and a product care room where they can repair broken jewelry that anyone brings in. James Avery furnishes a polish machine that EIB installs for them as well as custom-built sales and stock counters for the sales area. EIB does the cabinets for the back room, break room and work area.
“When I first started building the stores, I dealt directly with Paul Avery, who is James Avery’s son,” recalls Culbertson. “Now, I deal with their project manager who used to work for me and went to work for James Avery.”
With such a positive, long-standing working relationship between EIB and James Avery, two members of the EIB team have gone to work for the jewelry company. Larry Dalby, who worked for EIB for about five years, is now a project coordinator for James Avery. And 17 years ago, EIB team member Robert Schultz went to work for the retail jeweler, and today, he is director of facilities operations for James Avery Craftsman Inc.
“We have partnered with EIB on 90 percent of our retail projects,” comments Schultz. “We credit this decision to EIB’s customer service, quality of craftsmanship, close attention to details and their understanding of our needs and the ability to maintain project budgets and schedules.
“EIB has been working with us for over 17-plus years; Dale Culbertson has worked with us on our retail projects for over 25 years. They were a key part of rolling out our new store design and look several years ago. This new look took about a year to develop and EIB worked with us to work out any issues and
helped with some design changes for functionality.
“We continue to recommend them to any company who is looking for a quality GC that will work with you as a partner on a project. They have a strong reputation in the GC community and have a deep and qualified talent pool to pull from for projects.
“An example of working with us on a tight schedule would be our Pearland location several years ago; this project was delayed in permitting and didn’t start until three weeks into the construction schedule. Our opening was tied to the grand opening of the center. EIB not only made our deadline with 25-percent less time to do it in, they kept the project on budget as well. We look forward to working with them on projects in the future.”
The superintendent on the job was Eric Shultz. The architect was Thomas Oppelt of Paddle Creek Design out of Kerrville, and the engineers were Wilson & Associates and Joe Carreon of Kinetics Consulting, both local to San Antonio.
Subcontractors on the job included Larry Cheatwood of TLC SA for the electric, Satex Plumbing, All Service Air Conditioning & Heating out of Schertz, Allegiance Floors, DeGeus Tile, Weston Woodworking for the cabinets in the break area and product care room, and Centurion Painting.
Founded by Dale Culbertson in May of 2000, EIB Contractors is a family-owned business. Culbertson shares ownership with his two sons, Mark and Jay, and his daughter, Kim. EIB does commercial retail as well as Luciano restaurants and work on Army and Air Force bases across the U.S. –mh
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